A long-running border dispute is once more on the boil after India’s army, on behalf of Bhutan, allegedly tried to stop Chinese road building work on the Donglang or Doklam Plateau.
The incident, which happened at the India-China-Bhutan junction on June 4, sparked a stand-off between troops on both sides.
Strangely enough, a video and reports of the border scuffle came to light only on June 26, hours before India and the US made a joint statement in Washington about maintaining stability and peace in the Indo-Pacific region and announced plans for a maritime exercise, in the Indian Ocean, along with the Japanese navy, in July.
In the past, such border skirmishes between China and India have happened in the latter’s Eastern Ladakh. That the scuffle took place in the Sikkim sector this time raises the question of whether China is trying to create trouble in undisputed border areas as well.
Angry over India’s assertiveness on Bhutan’s behalf, China on June 20 blocked entry to Kailash Manasarovar pilgrims at Nathula Pass.
Nearly 50 pilgrims stranded at the border were forced to return home. China says the Nathula route will be reopened for them only after India withdraws its troops from Donglang.
Beijing views Donglang as its territory and insists neither Bhutan nor India can stake a claim to it. It regards the road construction underway in the plateau as legitimate.
While the sequence of events leading to the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops remains unclear, a video aired by Indian television channels shows a small group of soldiers from both sides blocking each other from advancing further along the border.
The skirmishes between Indian and Chinese troops are all linked to border disputes which remain unresolved despite talks. Not a single bullet has been fired, however, in any flare-ups over the past two decades
Sources in India say that after the border scuffle, Chinese soldiers entered the Indian side and destroyed two bunkers near the tri-junction.
So far, India has not responded to China’s accusations. New Delhi has likely been awaiting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s return from a three-nation tour. Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat maintained a discreet silence after visiting north Sikkim on Thursday to take stock of the security situation.
Indian officials are viewing the border standoff as China’s attempt to start a confrontation in Sikkim.
Bhutan, which enjoys special relations with India, has issued a demarche over China’s road construction, asking it to halt the work immediately.
Bhutan regards Donglang as a disputed area and is concerned over the road work progressing towards its army camp in the Zomplri area. India too has security concerns as the road, once completed, will come near the Siliguri Corridor in West Bengal that connects north-eastern states to the rest of India.
Bhutan has no diplomatic ties with Beijing. Indian soldiers train the Royal Bhutan Army, build roads and bridges and conduct joint patrols at the border since Bhutan is under its protection.
China does not appreciate a third party interfering in its border issues with Bhutan, which became complicated after the PLA occupied the Chumbi Valley near Donglang in 1988.
Chinese incursions into India have almost doubled after New Delhi allowed spiritual leader Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh, refused to join China’s Belt and Road initiative and expressed security concerns over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The skirmishes between Indian and Chinese troops are all linked to border disputes which remain unresolved despite talks. Not a single bullet has been fired, however, in any flare-ups over the past two decades.
In November 2008, Chinese troops destroyed Indian army bunkers at Donglang, near the tri-junction.
Chinese intrusions happened four times in Eastern Ladakh between April 2013 and March 2016. Troops occupied Indian posts for hours, even weeks, before matters were resolved through diplomacy.
It is all chinese drama…basically china is a imperial expansionist power which has to keep acquiring land from India,Bhutan,Nepal,Japan,south china if emperor XI does not acquire land the military will be annoyed with him,so from the 2100BC map they will say even delhi belongs to them….
India should break its silence on Doklam incident. Army chief Gen Rawat visited Sikkim border yesterday to assess the situation. Mistakes do happen because of confusion over the line of actual control and international border. China and India should carefully handle the situation.
I feel #China is talking about ‘Special Relocation’. What I understood from few Indian MSM, they are claiming Chinese are demanding Indian Territories.This is not the case. As there are full scale ceasefire in such regions, military escalation is not important. The agenda is linked with ‘impractical’ movement of Muslims from North East & even current Gorkha Muslims beside China Border favoured by BJP Ext Cell & few Ex Army. Even though there are innumerable chances of Islam Escalation in Nepal.
Like Eurpean Union, China and India must work together for the prosperity of South Asia. Must understand the importance of respecting each others sentiments. Conflicts for barren land is not going to benefit anyone.
Bhutan still has no diplomatic ties with China because India insist any diplomatic relationship must be approved by New Delhi. Such a ridiculous situation should not continue, or there is no reason for China to honour Bhutan as an independent state.
Good fences make good neighbors. There should be clarity on border lines between India and China and China and Bhutan. Trouble starts when each of them tries to stake claim over a stretch of land by citing history, old treaty or map. The country which is more powerful will bully the other until it gets what it wants.
India has a more justifiable claim to Mansarover and Tibet. By settling Han people in these areas, you can alter the demography, but u cannot invent history. India should renounce One China policy and indeed lay a claim to Tibet. The people of Tibet are with India anyway.
That does not give China any right to start building roads in Bhutan, does it? the statue quo cannot be changed by force. And yes, Bhutan is a sovereign country, China has no choice but to honor the realities.
Nope. No matter how well defined the border with China is, there will still be incursions and land grabs. Inch by inch, they do creep in, history shows it.
all are part of China’s deceotful propaganda like the transgression did in South China Sea bullying smaller countries and robbed of their territories.china’s ambition of One Belt Road is a clear violation of other countries sovereignity and it lawfully and dutifull right that India exert their muscle sto protect their sovereign territory and stop china’s threat of silently invading their boundaries.
SOMEBODY MUST STEP-UP AND STOP vaCHINA’S UNRULY ACTION TOWARDS IT;S NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES !
Why China, the biggest nation in the world wants to capture land teritory from smallest country in the world? I hope China has enough space to accomodate their population. Think humanly and let the poorest country remain peaceful
Bro Nepal has no problem with China whatsoever..it’s India which has been creating problem in the reason.. blocking economic prospect of it’s smaller neighbor..
Ashish Shrestha Hey man,the chinese have sent people to space,their economy is 4times bigger than India,their army also 3 times bigger with all that they are unable to manage a small tiny colony of theirs like hongkong which is fully literate….be practical can they manage nepal which has 10 caste & 10 languages & 10 religions amicably……like India
Bhutan does not need approvals from india on its decission for diplomatic ties with china. It is the decission of bhutan to not to do so. Independence and sovereignty does not come with dipmomatic ties.
Enjo Mathew you probably have not gone pass high school or you will know that chinese border with Korea, Vietnam and every country border China have not change for at least a thousand years. And within this time, white men spread all over the world to steal Australia, Canada, America, those they can’t steal upright they cheated the locals and colonize them like Vietnam Burma, Philippine by forcing locals to embrace a foreign religion and worshipping an imported gods.
Yeshay Wang "Independence and sovereignty does not come with dipmomatic ties." This maybe another Chinese perception issue. Bhutan is a sovereign country, a UN member country. There also exists security agreement between India and Bhutan for the protection of Bhutan. So when Chinese forces invaded into Bhutan territory to build roads, Bhutan turned to India for assistance to cease this activity. Indian Army intervened, the construction has been halted and the stalemate has continued ever since.
So contrary to your understanding, fact is, it is Bhutan that has requested the intervention of India.
From the way China usurp and grabs land of other countries, I suspect it is just insatiable greed. Not only do they take over the land, they destroy the culture and native race of that place. This is such a loss to humanity. They live in a grand delusion that Han race will take over the whole world. Just like how Hitler believed.
Sooner or later, it is inevitable. With many nations at odds with China over its devious mechanisms to infringe on its territory , someday, there will be a blowback. Chinese provocations are already conjuring up alliances between the powers of the region. I must add though, that the current Philippines president made a mistake by cutting off from USA and seeking favor with China. This will result in Philippines loosing its territory.
Enjo Mathew all i wanted was to reply to haav Bline that bhutan does not need indias approval to its foreign relations.
And neither did bhutan seek asistance of indian army in the disputed area. India is assisting on its own for its own interest and such act is disturbing the chinese.
India should leave bhutan alone to act own its own to diplomatically solve the issue with the big dragon.
India should trust bhutan.
And enjo mathew independence and sovereignty comes with the fulfillment of ingredients of a sovereign nation which are enshrined in the internationla law and not with diplomatic ties….
Haav how could you say that china has no reason to honour Bhutan as an independent nation simmply because it has no diplomatic relationship with China?
Bhutan though small has every right to exist as a soveriegn Nation under this sun and it deserves to be respected its soveriegnty as it has been existing a noncolonized soveriegn nation from the time immemorial and is also a member of UN.Dont bullshit Mr.Haav and China has no right to bully a small peaceful nation simply because of its size in every respect.
I am not surprised with your factual misunderstandings, given the censorship prevalent in Chinese media and the tendency to report what toes to the government line. Outside of China, however, things are different in the open media. So, may I share some facts once again.
1)Bhutan has issued a strong demarche to the Chinese government against this attempt to take over Bhutan territory.
2) Bhutan and India has a security pact and India is obliged to come to defend Bhutan.
3) the area in question is also of strategic importance to India. It crosses red lines for India and building of an illegal road cannot be tolerated for various reasons. If Bhutan concedes this territory to China, then u can say India has no right to stop this construction. Till then, the status quo must be maintained.
All said and done, China will not be allowed to bully another small country. India has the capacity to stand up to this bullying
This Mr.Haav seems a chinese under the garb of white man.I wish whoever he is should have a little sense of morality before putting his statement on social media about the position of small nation like Bhutan whos existence has been depending on Buddhist principle and value of peace and nonviolence.The huge nation like China in fact must appreciate and epitomise Bhutan’s policy of GNH for the greater benefit of China and the world at large instead of bullying it with their policy of expansionism whilst even the UN honored it by embrassing Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness policy as a millinium development goal,"the world happiness".
Therefore im view of present border scenerio the Chinese Government must respect Bhutan’s sovereignty as much as Bhutan respects Chinese sovereignty for the everlasting frienships,friendly,peaceful and congenial existence of both the nations and the people.
Thank you for reading.
Enjo Mathew i think u need to update a lil about bhutans authority regarding its external affairs.your facts are based on media which is misleading and U r well aware that bhutan is a democratic constitutional monarchy. There might be diplomatic agendas on the table with india but the final decission on any external affairs and diplomacy rests upon the king, country and the people. And yup neither india nor china should play with bhutan for their own interests. Let us mind our own businesses, dont we?
Trinmool Congress Moron Spotted….
I think the time has come now for China and India sit at the dialogue table and seriously sort out all pending border issues. Both countries form the largest economies coming up in the 21st century, and need stability for development. And I am sure both the countries do not want to go to war or aspire another’s territory. The western powers do not want a strong Asia coming up, and will do anything to keep us divided.
Border differences between China and Nepal have been sorted out long back in the reign of King Mahendra, and there are no outstanding differences or issue between our two countries. We found out it just a matter of give and take, we even share the two faces of Mount Everest. Bhutan, I feel should come out from the shadow of India like a true nation no matter how hard that may be at times as we have seen in Nepal being land locked…
Enjo Mathew BS, India never exist as a nation until 1947 when its white master left. Try let it’s tribal people carry out self determination and most will just leave India,the land of Hindu fanatics.
Low Shen-Cheang irrelevant and ignorant � u want a self determination for Indians to decide whether to live in their homeland?? Lol! And Indian civilisation was not born in 1947. It goes way way back than you are willing to acknowledge � It is akin to saying China never existed before Mao Ze Dung. ���
Phurba Tenzin Sherpa Lama LOL. You failed to understand my point, Bhutan has meekly comply with Indian pressure NOT to establish diplomatic relationship with China despite urgent need to do so. This means by choice or by lack of will to stand up against Indian domination over Bhutan, Bhutan failed to excercise its right as a sovereign state to conduct your own diplomacy. It means Bhutan failed to respect your so-called "everlasting frienships,friendly,peaceful and congenial existence" with China as a priority at the same level as the Indian absolute domination over your country. This is a very unwise and unattenable situation that your country must take up courage to change. A delicate balanced diplomacy will be required for your country to avoid being dragged into any future conflicts between this two competing and rising giants. For your country’s best interests, you need to learn from your neighbors Nepal, Myanmar and other countries.
Phurba Tenzin Sherpa Lama I do agree with Haey Bline. It is time for Nhutan to speak for itself. The blame it should be to the colonizers like England who after she left India became a country with a land that covered different regions and people. That is why some regions inside India’s territoty if they would be given the choice of staying or not, they would definitely decide to leave. I can point out some regions that currently don’t want to be part of India. Another point I want to comment on, India has the idea that countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Sri lanka, and Bangladesh are her satellites and do whatever she wants with them. So, I would say, India use it Bhutan for her own political agenda.
Think about it why now when Modi was entering into a conversation with Trump. Another similar incident happened when Modi was going to meet for first time the chnese president Xi Jinping.
By the way I am not Chinese or pretending to be one. Mi opinion
is based on old and recent history between India and China.
Vijay Raghavan There you are again talking pure b.s.
Let me tell you. gIt is time for Bhutan to speak for itself. England should be blamed because they were the colonizers. As we all know, after she departed, India was left with a land that covered different regions and ethnic people. People who speak their own language and culture. That is why some regions inside India’s territoty if they would be given the choice of staying or not, they would definitely decide to leave. I can point out some regions that currently don’t want to be part of India. Unfortunately, they are not allowed to leave.
Another point I want to comment on, India has the idea that countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Sri lanka, and Bangladesh are her satellites and do whatever she wants with them. So, I would asssert India use Bhutan as she wants to fulfill her own political agenda. That is a disgrace, unfortunately.
Going back to this article, it is a very interesting phenomena. If you look at this incident very carefully you will notice some similarities with some other incidents. For example, when Modi was about to meet Trump, a skirmish with China happened. Another similar incident happened when Modi was going to meet the chinese president Xi Jinping, for first time. Then, there are some other coincidental circumstances with similar results. Those incidents makes you wonder what is it going on? are they really coincidental?
well, for your information, some political pundits think there are some political people within the India’s political system that they don’t want some peaceful resoluton to happen with China. They want to keep this tension. Otherwise India wouldn’t be buying weapons and more likely their business wouldn’t do well. These are facts that you can check them out yourself by analyzing the facts carefully.
By the way I am not Chinese, philipino or pretending to be one of them. I am Latino. Mi opinion is based on old and recent history between India and China.
Haav Bline , Well said.
You Indian are not good at historical record keeping and that is the fact.
The reason been that India never was a united whole but a fragmented regions with competing language and culture before the British arrival.
Unlike China it history is recorded well by one common language and each succeeding emperor from the 1st maintain record of their reign.
Lot of your history was discover by British researchers and not known by Iindigenous Indians.
China in the recent years was a developing country, within few years it became one of the developed national joining hands with super power nations.it was a good example for the developing nations.it has business all over the world and remained in economic power.
It has become selfsufficiency even than it has the human population in the world, we appreciate that.
But in the other hand why China is becoming more and more greedy on land grabs.why not China as a big brother of Asian nations settle the border issues not in the paper but through dialogue and practical means.how much to wait for the border issues pokiing each others nose.
as a big brother it is your duty to look after the welbeing of your younger brothers, we respect you .settle the problems immediately internal problems like Tibet and border issues it will prevent bloodshed and other human problems.
Hope brother you will understand what we said.
Bye have a good day brother.
@ Enjo Mathew …….& what about India doing it inch by inch in southern plain of Nepal- you guys are so ignorant about Indian babu-led political bullying of its neighbors-the inhuman blockade to Nepal amidst the suffering of the great earthquake 2015 simply to retain its perceived micromanagement in Nepal- many hate Indian policy on Bhutan from within Bhutan itself- thats what my impression during my work there. One thing is damn true that the Babu led Indian neighborhood policy stupor actually is buying more foes than friends in the region!
Hello bro don’t take the name of nepal. Till now , there is no any border dispute between nepal and china. There is a clear line border between us but indian army is always creating border dispute between nepal and india
Plz don’t try to create chaos in the name of religion here in nepal . U indian Hindu might have issue with muslim community but we nepali hindu know how to respect other religious community specially muslims. And we both hindu and muslim community has been living in peace and harmony with no any issue and argument.
Guys why are we even bothered with this Chinese American barking on this page. That he is writing through his FB account itself shows that he is not in an evil country like China which blocks everything Democratic. Now the power part….. Why on Earth all countries eneny to China…. India, Bhutan, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, US to name a few. They have only 1 good friend…. The land of the uneducated terrorists Pakistan. And about 1962, could you hold hold on to what you won….. The answer is no!!!! Arunachal is still with us so is Ladakh. Add Sikkim to us since then and Bhutan hates you. Wake up CHINA!!!
Phurba Tenzin Sherpa Lama ,Bhutan has been China’s neighbour for thousands of years and will continue to be and this is respecting Bhutan as an independent state without any political or any other interference at the same time Bhutan has to man-up and act as indepedent state and have diplomatic relation with US, EU, China etc… and not let Indian drag you by the nose whenever and whereever it want you to be.
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